Fruits of the Spirit: LESSON 1 PART 3 – Love (1 John 4:16)
“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.” 1 John 4:16
(For younger kids)
” God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.” – 1 John 4:16b
- The Bible tells us that the GOD IS LOVE. This does not only mean that our God is a loving God or that He loves us, but that the word L-O-V-E in its purest sense is the character of God Himself. And we learn about this love by reading the BIBLE, God’s Word.
- As we learned from John 3:16, God loved us so much that He gave up His one and only Son Jesus as a sacrifice for us so we can be saved. “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” – John 15:13
- How much did Jesus love you and me? It cannot be measured in hugs and kisses. It was measured in the life He gave. Jesus loved us so much that He stretched His arms wide open (stretch out your hands as wide as you can and ask the students what they think Jesus was going to do looking like this). Jesus stretched out His arms wide open….not to give us a HUG, but to DIE on the CROSS.
- This is what LOVE means, and it’s not the same as how we sometimes say we love candy and chocolate, we love to play and go shopping, or we love our friends but not our other classmates. The love that God showed us is what we call UNCONDITIONAL LOVE and God did not wait for us to show Him any sign of our love for Him before Jesus died for us.
- We are only able to truly love others because God loved us first. GOD IS THE SOURCE OF LOVE. We are incapable of loving others if we do not have God’s love in our hearts. Love that is not connected to God is called SELFISH LOVE because it’s the kind of love that expects and even demands something in return.
- Think of how a light bulb is connected to the electrical outlet. It cannot produce any light if it is only pretending to be connected or is very close to being connected. It has to be absolutely connected for it to turn on and emit light. In the same way, we cannot show true love for others if we are not connected to the source of love – GOD. Others can pretend to love but it will prove to be selfish love, a kind of love that gets hurt and sometimes even mad when it is not loved in return.
- ACTION POINT: We need to accept God’s love and believe in Jesus so that the Holy Spirit can guide us to love others the way God wants us to love. We cannot do it by ourselves; we need to be connected to the source. When we allow ourselves to be filled with God’s love, then this love flows through us and is manifested by our love for one another. “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” –John 13:35
- Lead those who want to accept God’s love in prayer: “Almighty God, thank You for the love that you have given us. Forgive us for the times when we failed to acknowledge this love. Help us with the Holy Spirit to know You and to let Your love fill our hearts and guide us to love one another as You have loved us. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.”